How To Be Productive
In this post, we will talk about how to be productive. So let’s start. Whether you work on your blog, selling your own products or running a business as an affiliate, it’s essential to get things done consistently. A great way to be more efficient is to make time for yourself in your own agenda. This is important whether you are running your business full time or as a side hustle. Again, less is more and being more efficient is about achieving similar or better results with fewer work involved, right?
So, preserving time for yourself is the basis. If you work for someone and have a boss, try to negotiate that Friday off twice a month, and then work on your productivity to compensate and still achieve results. If you work for yourself and have some freedom in the way you plan your time, keep some slots off on your diary to make sure that time will be yours to play with.
If you asked, I would, for instance, say that I keep my Fridays off to do some reading and some writing.
Now that you have inserted that big rock in your vase add another one and a third one. On your diary, the rocks would materialise as big chunks of time that you keep for progressing on your work, without interruption.
For instance, Monday morning is for administrative things, Monday lunchtime is for meeting clients, Monday afternoon is for meetings, Tuesday and Wednesday are for research or business development (depending on what you do, obviously) and Thursday is to be kept for … your decision to make!
Set-up or Fix your Daily Routine if you really want how to be productive
The next challenge is to set-up or fix your daily routine. As a reminder, the first step
to more efficiency is to plan some time for yourself because the very idea of increasing your productivity is to save time for yourself. In line with the previous section, without a surprise, the idea is to plan for your daily routine. Is there a day you want to keep for yourself? Plan for it! Is there a specific day that needs to be kept for meeting clients? Plan for it!
Are there any new projects to be included in your work pipeline? Plan for that too. But remember, being more efficient is not about creating yourself more work, sometimes it’s about renewing your mind. Now, here is a list of ideas that you can use to make the most of your time.
Plan some time for yourself early in the morning or late at night.
I like writing at night because I live in a big building with a city view that I find inspiring when all is calm out there, but some would rather have writing, reading, running or meditating everyday first thing in the morning to start the day their way. Do you take time for yourself every day?
Just start, go on!
For many people, the hardest part is the beginning. Writers call it the page block; others simply don’t manage to get into their work because their mind is busy elsewhere. To gain efficiency, boost yourself, decide, and start.
Do it, that’s it. This implies finding the proper environment where you will be able to work. In my case, for instance, my office is always very quiet.
This doesn’t work for me. Of course, some silence is important sometimes, but activity is also good for stimulation so I regularly work out of my office, in cafes and public place, to gain in productivity. What is your perfect environment?
Take a two-minute break here and then.
I’m not talking about a coffee break here. I’m talking about taking two minutes to stop what you’re doing, on your way to work or between two chunks of uninterrupted work to either enjoy a sunrise or empty your mind and refocus. This is a simple, little and inexpensive reward, you’d be stupid not to enjoy it, right? So, again, stop, breathe, then move on.
To-do lists and checklists are precious tools when it comes to increasing your efficiency.
One, they help to make sure that you don’t forget anything. Second, if used pragmatically and strategically, they can help you think about the big picture and will help you avoid doing and re-doing things just because preparation was insufficient. Again, be precise and write clear goals on your list.
In my case, for instance, an uninterrupted block of work would not be about writing, it would be about writing a 3000 words chapter or article. Precisely. Less is more, so plan for less and achieve more. Do you have a list? If not, put it on your to-do list…
Don’t stay alone.
Working on your efficiency does not mean staying alone. In fact, you should also plan time to discuss and exchange with other people on your work and projects.
As far as your work is concerned, spending time to brainstorm every once in a while is a great way to obtain feedback and make sure that you are going in the right direction. It is also a fantastic way to receive hints and clues on things you probably didn’t think about, in which case the time you spend discussing will save you time later on. Include ideas as you go and you will avoid doing things all over again later.
Learn to say no!
Not being alone does not mean letting others decide for you and in reality, being efficient requires to learn how to say no! To be efficient at what you are supposed to do and to reach your personal goals, you need to focus. This means that you need to consider carefully each new potential commitment and refuse it if it doesn’t serve your goals. You also need to avoid being interrupted, whether by unwanted meetings or by unwanted phone calls and emails. I’ll come to that later.
It is also very important to take time to think and reflect on how you are doing. From a work perspective, reflecting means analyzing how your work works. Have you made sure that you are going in the right direction? Are you doing it regularly? Have you involved anyone in the project to obtain some feedback and confirm that you are in the right direction?
The idea of thinking out of the box is also very important. My way of thinking is based on getting the big picture. I need to make sure that I have a correct overview of the projects I manage before going into the details.
That requires doing a little bit of digging in the first place, but it is a real time saver in the end because it avoids missing important points and avoids moving backwards. The idea of thinking laterally is very much similar to this. Instead of thinking about who can decide for you, think about the alternatives and include them in your program.
Being able to propose instead of merely waiting for someone’s decision will make you much more efficient! You will save time because you won’t need to wait for someone, and you will keep control over what you do which will help a lot with your working autonomy. Less is more! Reflecting is also about measuring the signs of progress you make on your personal development goals. It, of course, depends on how much freedom you have in your daily routine (especially if you do have a boss), but the idea here is to make sure that your work schedule does match your personal goals. Of course!
Because less is more, try to think about how you are actually doing. Is your program working as planned? Can you improve? What do you need to adapt? What unexpected developments have you faced? What are the impacts on your long-term needs?
Now, how do you do?
Does your daily routine allow you to get things done? To get the right things done? The things you want to do? Do you allow time in your routine to do what matters most without being disturbed? Time for yourself perhaps? How about re-thinking your routine just now? To what extent could lists help? Can you say no? Would that help with your priorities? Now I hope these tips will help you on how to be productive.